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Game on – Joanne Rock

Arc received from Tule Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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★ ★ TWO STARS

This was a miss for me, sadly. I was really looking forward to reading Game On as I’m always a fan of sports romances – can we say yes please! to hunky jock characters and strong female leads. I just couldn’t seem to get in to the flow of this story though.

Game On follows young businesswoman Keely Harper, the high-school and college sweetheart of the recently injured baseball player Nate Ramsey. When Nate returns home from the injured reserve list after having finally made his mark in the major leagues, his life becomes surrounded by Keely – a woman he thought had left him in the past. As a victim of her family’s tarnished image, Keely’s existence has been forever associated with the alcoholic-induced actions of her father. With her father’s recent sobriety, her younger sister’s career success and Keely’s business growth – things are looking up for the first time in her life. That is, until Nate Ramsey returns to Last Stand and brings up all of the memories Keely spent years trying to forget.

“There had been an era of her life where she had known him so well that she’d been able to read his every mood in his expression and his body language…Every other time she had been with him – except for that last one that had ripped her heart out – had been happy”

While this story was written well, what didn’t quite connect with me were the characters. Keely’s martyrdom by constantly putting everyone else before herself got annoying, very quickly. Even though it was understandable given her father’s bad reputation and constantly having to clean up after him, it was her disregard for others’ wishes in her attempts to self-sacrifice that really frustrated me. The pressure she put on her sister to have the future she’d sacrificed had really annoyed me.

“Nate had always had a way of making her smile even when everything else in her world had been a disaster.”

I much preferred Nate over Keely, although he still wasn’t the strongest of characters. It felt like he didn’t even enjoy baseball and that he was mainly doing it to keep up the family name. While that could be a great starting point for the novel, I would have liked to have seen this progress a lot more. He didn’t really seem to contemplate this at all, despite it being stated as one of the things he hoped hadn’t happened in his life. Maybe I misinterpreted it, but I really felt like he didn’t change much overall within the story and I would have liked to have seen that.

What really kept me going throughout this story were the minor characters – Keely’s sister Alexia and Nate’s team mate Ty. They were amazing! I would have gladly read a whole book about them in one sitting. Easily. So despite my dislike for this book, I’ve come to realise it’s not the author’s fault. I really loved the way she explored the connection between these two characters and the way she wrote their budding friendship so well! This tells me that I just didn’t connect with the main characters, but other readers might.

Despite not really liking this book, Alexia and Ty’s presence made up for and since they’re in the following book, I’ll give it a go just to see where they end up.

Jen

2 thoughts on “Game on – Joanne Rock

    1. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read Game On. I’m glad you liked the photo of the cover. It’s great on its own though – so much chemistry! I’m excited for what the future holds in this series with Wes’ story and the continuation of Ty and Alexis’ story 🙂

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